Leaving Nippert Stadium with a win is a challenge most opponents have failed to meet in recent years.
Since 2008, Cincinnati boasts a 41-9 record (.820 winning percentage) in front of its home crowd, which ranks 14th nationally, third among all Group of Five programs that have been in the FBS for at least three years, and first in the American Athletic Conference.
Impressive, no? Let’s break it down:
vs. Power Five: 4-1 (80 percent)
Thanks to a dominant 34-23 performance against the Miami Hurricanes last season, Cincinnati now owns a three-game winning streak against Power Five opponents at home.
vs. Group of 5: 30-5 (85.7 percent)
This is one of the reasons why Cincinnati has been regarded as one of the best non-Power Five programs in the country. The Bearcats have a total of five losses at home against G-5 opponents in eight years: Temple (2015), Memphis (2014), Louisville (2013), USF (2010), and Pittsburgh (2010).
vs. FCS: 8-0 (100 percent)
Forget about it. Cincy shows no mercy against its FCS brethren, going 8-for-8 with a point margin of +42.9 since 2008.
vs. Conference: 22-8 (73.3 percent)
Twenty-two wins at home against conference opponents equates to five conference championships (two outright, three shared). The ‘Cats won two Big East titles under Brian Kelly in 2008 and 2009 before sharing two more under Butch Jones in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, the Bearcats finished in a three-way tie for first as an American co-champion.
vs. Ranked Teams: 3-3 (50 percent)
Cincinnati hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent at home since beating No. 25 West Virginia during its 12-1 Sugar Bowl run in 2009. The Bearcats will likely have an opportunity this fall when Houston (ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll) and USF (the AAC East favorite) visit in the first few weeks of the season.
Points per game: 37.3
Cincinnati’s ability to score at home has remained consistent over time. Even during a difficult 7-6 (4-4) campaign in 2015, the Bearcats were still able to produce an average of 41.7 points at Nippert, their highest total since 2011 (42.7).
Points allowed per game: 20.2
Though this number has certainly been inflated during the Tommy Tuberville era, Cincinnati’s overall defense has been a disruptive unit and a vital part of the program’s surge.
In 2010, Cincinnati finished 4-8 (2-5 Big East) — that’s the only year UC hasn’t appeared in a bowl game since 2005. If you eliminate that season, the Bearcats’ home winning percentage would skyrocket to 88.4 percent, moving them to No. 8 in the nation during this eight-year span.
Set up against the nation’s 77th-ranked schedule, UC’s upcoming home slate consists of Tennessee-Martin, Houston, Miami (Ohio), USF, East Carolina, BYU, and Memphis. With five straight years of at least five wins at home, recent history says the ‘Cats can continue to move up the home-record leaderboards in 2016.
*Cincinnati played the 2014 season at Paul Brown Stadium due to renovations to Nippert Stadium.